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Type: Journal article
Title: Placental inflammation is associated with rural and remote residence in the Northern Territory, Australia: a cross-sectional study
Author: O'Brien, C.
Arbuckle, S.
Thomas, S.
Rode, J.
Turner, R.
Jeffery, H.
Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2015; 15(1):32-1-32-13
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1471-2393
Statement of
Cecelia M O'Brien, Susan Arbuckle, Sujatha Thomas, Jurgen Rode, Robin Turner and Heather E Jeffery
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Northern Territory has the highest rates of perinatal morbidity and mortality in Australia. Placental histopathology has not been studied in this high-risk group of women. METHODS: This is the first study to detail the placental pathology in Indigenous women and to compare the findings with non-Indigenous women in the Northern Territory. There were a total of 269 deliveries during a three-month period from the 27(th) of June to the 27(th) of August 2009. Seventy-one (71%) percent of all placentas were examined macroscopically, sectioned then reviewed by a Perinatal Pathologist, blinded to the maternal history and outcomes. RESULTS: Indigenous women were found to have higher rates of histologically confirmed chorioamnionitis and or a fetal inflammatory response compared with non-Indigenous women (46% versus 26%; OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3-4.5). In contrast, non-Indigenous women were twice as likely to show vascular related pathology (31% versus 14%; OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.3-5.9). Indigenous women had significantly higher rates of potentially modifiable risk factors for placental inflammation including genitourinary infections, anaemia and smoking. After adjusting for confounders, histological chorioamnionitis and fetal inflammatory response was significantly associated with rural or remote residence (Adjusted OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.08 - 5.8). CONCLUSION: This study has revealed a complex aetiology underlying a high prevalence of placental inflammation in the Northern Territory. Placental inflammation is associated with rural and remote residence, which may represent greater impact of systemic disadvantage, particularly affecting Indigenous women in the Northern Territory.
Keywords: Placenta; Indigenous women; Pregnancy; Remote; Residence; Genitourinary infections; Anaemia; Smoking; Histological chorioamnionitis; Fetal inflammatory response
Rights: © 2015 O’Brien et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030033896
DOI: 10.1186/s12884-015-0458-7
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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